Update: ‘New ADAS features’ section added.
According to a report from The Driven Australia, the next-gen MG Marvel R will be made in a right-hand drive (RHD) configuration so that MG can consider it for a wide range of markets. The publication reports that MG Australia and New Zealand CEO Peter Ciao said during an online event on November 24, 2021, that the second-gen MG Marvel R will launch in Australia next year (2023), provided the company does not run into supply chain issues. As per a report on Stuff.co.nz, the RHD-spec next-gen MG Marvel R would also be up for consideration for New Zealand.
SAIC launched the MG Marvel R in Europe in October 2021. With prices starting at EUR 40,000, the Marvel R goes up against the VW ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq.
New ADAS features
The MG Marvel R is available with 15 advanced driver assistance systems under MG Pilot. These include basic features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Intelligent High Beam Control, and Drowsiness Warning System and the more advanced Traffic Jam Assistance, Lane Keep Assistance, Rear Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Monitoring.
SAIC has tied up with Luminar to source LiDAR and components of its Sentinel software system for its Feifan Automotive Technology company’s R brand vehicles. The current Marvel R is originally an Roewe brand model in China, but it comes to Europe with the MG badge. While there is no confirmation, SAIC’s new partnership should lead to the next-gen Marvel R packing a suite of advanced ADAS features, such as semi-autonomous driving functions on highways.
MG in UK & mainland Europe
In addition to the UK, MG currently retails in 16 European countries, including Norway, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, France, and Germany. While sales in the UK include internal combustion-engined and electrified vehicles, MG models sold in the EU markets are electric only (or PHEV in the case of the MG EHS).
In mainland Europe, MG sold 7,200 vehicles in 2020 and tripled annual sales to 21,946 vehicles in 2021. Including the UK, the net European sales figure in 2021 was 52,546 units. UK, France, Sweden, Germany, and Norway were the biggest markets, accounting for 58.2%, 21.8%, 21.5%, 14.5%, and 13.8% of the annual sales, respectively. With the Marvel R Electric launched in October 2021, the new ZS EV launched in November 2021, and the MG5 EV coming out in March 2022, the total sales in 2022 could be their highest. In fact, Matt Lei, CEO, MG Motor Europe, has said that MG’s European sales should triple again this year. MG has opened no fewer than 400 sales and service outlets in the region within just 18 months.
Some of the regional RHD markets that hold potential for MG EVs this decade include Scotland, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, and Malta.
MG in Australia & New Zealand
MG is trying to replicate similar success in Australia and New Zealand, where it sells electrified vehicles (MG ZS EV and MG HS PHEV) in addition to combustion vehicles. MG’s ZS combustion vehicle already broke into Australia’s top 10 sales performer for two months in 2021, with triple-digit growth.
To boost EV numbers in Australia and New Zealand, MG will first begin addressing Australia’s Achilles Heel: lack of EV infrastructure. According to the electric vehicle council, Australia merely has 3,000 chargers across the country compared to the USA’s 45,000 publicly available chargers, which itself is criticized for not being enough.
MG announced it would give up to 3,000 chargers to 1,000 hotels and resorts around Australia. These are AC 7 kW single-phase or 11 kW three-phase with Type 2 plugs to be used by any EV, not just MGs. “After it is successful in Australia, we will start it in New Zealand immediately”, MG Motor’s product director Danny Lenartic said in an interview to Stuff.co.nz.
MG will launch the facelifted ZS EV in Australia and NZ by June, followed by the gasoline version of the MG5 wagon. The electric MG5 is not considered for markets down under as MG’s focus is on electric SUVs like the next-gen MG Marvel R.
MG global sales in 2021
MG sold 479,920 vehicles globally in 2021, as per a report from autohome.com.cn. Compared to 2020, that’s a phenomenal growth of 69%, and some 42,000 units came from overseas markets (exports). Should the supply chain issues resolve, the company could grow to a higher level this year.
As a group, SAIC registered its highest annual sales, growing 22% in 2021. For the first time, sales exceeded 800,000 vehicles, 290,000 units of which were exports. Despite supply limitations, SAIC still managed to grow sales of its new energy vehicles by 107% (from 2020) to 161,000 units in 2021.
Under the Mission 100 strategy announced in 2020, MG aims to achieve cumulative sales of 1 million vehicles globally by 2024, which would mark the brand’s 100th anniversary. To achieve that target, it would expand its presence to over 100 markets worldwide by 2024 and target younger buyers with connected cars.
Featured Image (of the Cyberster) – MG